Unite statement on Orlando massacre

Unite statement on Orlando massacre

15 June 2016

Unite expresses its horror and revulsion at the massacre carried out at Pulse nightclub in Orlando last week, and condemns this horrific act. Our thoughts are with the friends and families of the bereaved, and with the many injured.  We extend our hand in solidarity to our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community in Orlando and throughout the USA and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all those across the world horrified by this attack.

We deplore any attempt to ignore or downplay the homophobic nature of this outrage.  The attack in Orlando was a hate crime directed against the LGBT community, whatever the precise inspiration of the attacker.  Such crimes are facilitated by support for, or indifference to, homophobic attitudes all-too prevalent in media and political circles.  The massacre in Orlando makes us still-more determined to confront homophobia in all its forms and expressions.

Unite believes that this terrible crime must not be allowed to divide our communities, nor to serve as a pretext for Islamophobic attitudes.  Muslims have of course joined people of all faiths and none in condemning the massacre and expressing solidarity with the victims.  Beyond homophobia, the big issue is actually, once again, US laws which permit any bigot or disturbed individual to purchase deadly assault weapons.

The deaths in Orlando are not a reason for division.  Instead, they call us to once more express our common humanity in the face of all those who trade in fear and hatred.